B has been a friend since the very early 1970s – right from when we were New Chums and hadn’t long been in Australia. The Golfer and her husband met through a shared interest (not golf) B and I also had a common interest – CRAFT
Now even though our children are about the same age she’s a bit older than me – not quite what you’d call a generation – possibly a much older very young at heart sister. And that’s how I’ve always viewed her – some one who I could talk to about anything.
As friends often do there were times when we saw each other quite frequently and others when because of circumstances hardly ever for maybe a year or two. We’ve shared all three of life’s ‘gathering’ – Births, Deaths and Marriages. – Some Christmas’ and Big Birthdays as well.
Retirement changed things for both of us – so much to do and so little time to do it lol. We thought being a Working Woman was a busy time – retirement is not much different- just a different set of appointments :). B moved last year (downsized by choice) and I hadn’t been to her new place for quite a few months so it was time for a catch up in real time.
Right, long story cut short. I teed up a time last week – come in the afternoon she’d said. It’s much more relaxing. Such a big hug when I arrived, tears when I produced the very little posy of flowers from my winter garden. Nothing was blooming in her new garden. Tea was drunk in tiny china cups and dainty pastries eaten. We laughed about ageing, new replacement eyes, new replacement ears (cataract ops and hearing aids lol) Forgetfulness as well – when she moved I’d written her new house phone number down on a scrap of paper as you do and couldn’t find it so looked online. Decided I’d not lose it again if I added it to my mobile contacts and discovered it there already 🙂
But this isn’t B – it used to be wait while the kettle boils then make your own coffee to suit and help yourself to cake from a tin on the side. She’d talk about her latest projects or her Probus group or how her indoor bowls was going (Victorian State representative no less!). When I asked she said all was well with the new place, the garden was a problem but she’d sort it come the spring. Then the phone rang and she made no move to answer it.
Awkward moment – it seems that as well as her brother and two of his good friends whom she’d known for many years dying within a week of each other it turns out over the past few months several friends in her age group had become unwell and died suddenly – and the news had come by phone. I was lucky to get through the other day because she ignores it most of the time.
It’s the little things getting her down more than the phone issue. Don’t laugh but no sunny aspect to her garden being the main one. Maybe if I act differently, she said, life will change. Then the sensible side of her emerged and she told me about the appointment she has coming up with a grief counsellor next week.
We did promise each other we would go out of our way to spend afternoons together far more frequently from now on.